We would like to inform the Australian public that today, when Serbian Orthodox believers celebrate the blessed Feast of the Holy Nativity of Christ - Christmas, the rector of the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Melbourne, The Very Reverend Archpriest Milorad Loncar, with the blessings of His Grace Bishop Siluan, requested permission from the Australian Border Force to conduct a pastoral visit to Novak Djokovic. He was refused, on the grounds that no one is allowed access to the Park Hotel (Migration Detention Center) at Carlton because of Covid restrictions. 
We were informed that no religious visits to any detainees are permitted at all! Nor have they been since July of 2021. Furthermore, since the beginning of the pandemic, the facility has been closed for extended periods of time, rendering the detainees bereft of spiritual and emotional support from clerics regardless of their religious affiliation. This is a gross violation of basic human rights and we call on the responsible instruments of government to give immediate free and unfettered access to pastoral support for all people in detention.
No room, no screens, and sadly no effort has been made to create a safe area where visits of any kind can be conducted at this facility. We have come to learn that there are those who have been incarcerated for more than two years in this prison. Is this the way we Australians treat vulnerable children, men and women? “Rules are rules!” the Prime Minister uttered recently in relation to Novak Djokovic’s detention. What about obeying the rules we signed up to defend as signatories to the United Nations Bill of Rights?
The Serbian Orthodox Metropolitanate of Australia and New Zealand strongly condemns the violation of human and religious rights, as well as the nature of treatment of all those in detention. Tonight, in prayerful support, a supplication service is organized in front of the institution where Novak Djokovic is held in custody.
We pray that Christ- Emmanuel will warm and soften the hearts of men. That love will reign among people.
Office of the Bishop of Australia and New Zealand